Building a Wacky Hundred Chart!

What could be better than getting kids up and moving during the school day? How about helping them develop number sense as they build a wacky hundred chart?

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One of my favorite resources for hundred chart activities is It Makes Sense! Using the Hundreds Chart to Build Number Sense. It is packed with easy-to-follow lessons and games for using the hundred chart.

Would you like an example? Let me introduce you to Building a Wacky Hundred Chart. First off, it doesn’t actually use a hundred chart! It’s a cooperative activity that’s done in a large circle on the floor using the number cards from the hundred chart, and it uses the hundred chart patterns (1 more, 1 less, 10 more, 10 less).

Eventually, you will play with all the numbers, but to begin with, use two cards for each student plus one more (the one you will start with). For example, if you have 20 students, you will use 41 cards. The numbers you use should all be contiguous on the hundred chart. Students place their cards face up in front of them so everyone can see the numbers.

To begin the activity, place your card on the floor. It should be a card that is somewhere in the middle of the numbers you are using. So, for example, if you’re using 1-41, you might lay down 25. Explain to students that you will go around the circle and they may play a card if it follows the hundred chart rules: 1 more, 1 less, 10 more, 10 less (for example, 15, 35, 24, or 26). If they don’t have a card that can be played, they say “pass.” It may start out a little slow, with several children having to “pass” before a card can be played, but as more numbers are placed, the pace picks up. ย 

Keep in mind that the result won’t look like a hundred chart. For example, if a child is building one more onto the number 20, they would lay the 21 card next to the 20, whereas on a hundred chart it would be on the next row. Make sense?

wacky hundreds chart

What a great activity to do at the beginning of the year in a 1st- or 2nd-grade class to gauge your kiddos’ understanding of the hundred chart patterns! Use partner talk to take off some of the pressure. Turn and talk to your partner about what cards could be played on the number showing. Also, since the kiddos have their cards face up, they can help each other out. But you will still be able to see which kids know the patterns and which ones don’t.

Download your own number cards to 120 for free. If you’d like the cute number cards pictured above, you can grab them here.

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  1. Thanks for sharing about their new book. I read It Makes Sense! last summer and I used many of the activities in my classroom this past school year. I will need to look for their new book.

    1. Yes, they are GREAT! If you can’t find it locally, you can use the links in the post to grab it at Amazon.

  2. I love the Ten Frames book, and purchased the Hundred Chart one at the beginning of the summer — but have not yet cracked it open. The activity you shared is fantastic; it is inspiring me to read a bit of the book before we start back in September!

    I will have to see what modifications I will have to make to align with our district’s version of the hundred chart. Because we use ThinkMath, our 100s charts are inverted: http://thinkmath.edc.org/index.php/Hundreds_chart
    The reasoning behind it makes sense to me, but it does mean we have to modify just about every resource out there!

    Your blog is fantastic.

    1. Yes, I’ve seen 100s charts like that, and I understand the reasoning behind them. I think you’ll be able to use pretty much all the activities in the book–you’ll just need to substitute your 100s chart for the blackline in the book.

  3. Donna,
    I am always on the look for wonderful math resource books for kindergarten, do you have any recommendations?


  4. Thanks Donna! I actually have the Van de Walle and Kathy Richardson books, I have added the other two to my wish list!

  5. This is a great idea, but I am having trouble understanding how the cards would be placed when set down, so I am asking for clarification. Would the +1 and -1 go to the right or left and the +10 and -10 go on the top or the bottom of the number played? If I am wrong please correct and maybe give a visual. Thanks in advance.

  6. hi
    I could not print off the wacky 100 chart materials. Is the picture of the cards with the numbers and the girls/boys on each card free? Also looking for the humpty dumpty 100 chart freebie

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